Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 10:46 UK

Hundreds of fish dead after leak

The polluted water
The Environment Agency said it could start a criminal investigation

Hundreds of fish have been killed after about 1,000 gallons (4,546 litres) of liquid soap leaked into a stream.

The water in Chalvey Ditch, near Slough, Berkshire, turned cloudy-white following the spillage.

Other creatures including frogs and eels have also died and a clean-up operation is expected to last for several days.

The Environment Agency is looking into the spillage and said it could start a criminal investigation.

It said early monitoring suggested there were no fish left in large areas of the polluted water.

Neil Martin, from the Environment Agency, said the investigation was in its early stages after they were tipped off on Monday about the water changing colour.

He said: "We don't know exactly how it happened. This would be a bulk container of the product before it's put in the small packages you might see in your home.

"It is a criminal offence to pollute the waterways and we have powers similar to the police to investigate.

"We would be using those powers to collate the evidence and determine what sort of sanctions are appropriate."

Drainage pipes have been blocked off and are being cleaned out.

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